Ruston girls basketball coach Jenna Bolin has been working with her team since the preseason on being able to function when a game slows down. It’s clear her Lady Bearcats play well in a basketball version of a track meet – and there’s nothing wrong with that – but of course every game will not play out that way: even the fastest of games will have a lull or two of possessions that might have been ended by a shot clock if one was present.
Bolin saw progress in that realm on Tuesday, but it’s not how the game was won: Amani McWain turned the game into a track meet.
McWain scored 22 points, several of them coming off of steals and ensuing transition baskets, as Ruston beat Byrd 53-47 in its opening game of the Ouachita Lady Lion Hoopfest.
“That’s becoming her norm,” Bolin said of McWain. “She had a good game once she got going. She started attacking and finding gaps to get to the basket.”
The Lady Bearcats built a seven-point lead in the first half and mostly maintained it throughout the second half.
“We kept getting it to 10 or 12 but we never could break it open,” Bolin said. “We never pressed – we could have but didn’t because we had some players in foul trouble.”
Taylor Benjamin added eight points for Ruston.
Ouachita rolls over Sterlington
Fourteen points from Keturah Bingham, 13 points from Jaronda Griffin and 12 from Dee Dee Walker led the Lions to a 61-33 win over Sterlington. The Lady Lions outscored the Lady Panthers 14-3 in the first quarter and 20-9 in the third quarter to build the lead.
Kaneisha Carr led Sterlington with 16 points.
Lady Rebels top Vidalia
A 19-2 second quarter run helped the Lady Rebels beat Vidalia 52-31.
West Monroe was led by 14 points from Jasmyn Johnson and 10 from Jaquell Robinson.
Fourth-quarter surge lifts Wossman
Wossman fought off a 21-18 halftime deficit and a 33-29 deficit at the end of the third quarter in a 40-36 comeback win over Winnfield. The Lady Wildcats outscored Winnfield 11-3 in the fourth quarter.
Tyla Sherman led Wossman with 13 points, closely followed by 12 from Curtessia Dean.
Lady Farmers win
In a back-and-forth game in which the lead changed at the end of each quarter, Union Parish outscored Jonesboro-Hodge in the fourth quarter by seven points to win 51-48.
Raneseya Brown scored a game-high 18 points for Union. The game’s other top scorers were Mackenzie Houston (Jonesboro-Hodge) with 15 points, 14 from Ashanti Heggar (Jonesboro-Hodge) and 12 from Yasmine Brock (Union.
Rayville falls to Southwood
Micaela Wilson tied for a game-high 27 points with three 3-pointers in Rayville’s loss.
Rayville led 19-9 after the first quarter and 31-20 at halftime before Southwood’s comeback.
North Caddo beats Carroll
North Caddo’s pressure at the top of its halfcourt defense produced easy baskets in the third quarter to help it pull away from Carroll, 79-34. Carroll was down 23-21 at halftime.
Amber Brown led Carroll with 21 points, tied for a game-high. Steniqua Wilson added 10.
Follow Brett on Twitter, @BHudsonTNS.